Join Rufus Deuchler for an in-depth discussion in this video The Bristle Brush, part of Illustrator CS5 New Features Overview.
The Bristle Brush is a new tool in Adobe Illustrator CS5, which allows you to draw natural and fluid brush strokes like never before. Let's start by creating a new bristle brush, and as all brushes, the bristle brushes will be in the Brushes panel here. So to create a new bristle brush, we need to click the New Brush button. And then choose Bristle Brush from the new brush selection window here. And say OK. And this is what we get. And we're going to give it a name, My First Brush.
And we can choose from a whole range of shapes for these brushes. From a Round Point, to a Round Blunt, Round Curve, Round Angle, Round Fan, and all the way down to Flat Fan. So let's see how these would behave. Let's a Round Fan for example. This is the type of line we will get. And then we can go even further into the Options changing the size of the brush. Let's make it slightly thicker like this. We can change the bristle length of the brush.
Let's say, let's make it slightly longer a bristles so we get a more fluid shape here. The bristle density from very low, fewer bristles to more bristles, something like that and the bristle thickness we can also change that. Normally on 50 and we can go down or up again and these are all percentages and we can see a live preview here in the Brush options. The paint opacity. You can change that from 100% and it would look like this, all the way down to 0%.
So let's take something like 50% for our first Bristle Brush and we can also change the stiffness of the bristles themselves. And remember, all of these settings can be applied to any of these shapes. So, we've chosen the round fan and say OK to that. Now, if I take my pen for my tablet and also bear in mind that if you use a Wacom tablet with a 6D pen you will also be able to have the pen respond to rotation of the pen itself. So as soon as I get closer to my art board here, taking a brush, we will see actually the bristle brush on my art board.
And as I click, I will start painting. And as you can see, it gives me a very, very fluid and natural brush stroke. Let's zoom in a second just to see what it actually did. Basically what it did it created a whole bunch of vector shapes to give me the illusion of that brush stoke. Zoom out again and maybe make another example. Let's go here to my document that you can also open. It's inside of the Training files and take a Bristle Brush here and change maybe the color to white, okay. And open this Bristle Brush here and see if that will work. It's a flat fan.
I already named it smoke and let's say OK to that. And I can actually see on my art board where the brush is. By tilting it, you see that the movement of the tilt of my brush actually is responding on the art board as well. And then, simply by clicking and dragging, I can now start painting that smoke. Making a very realistic brush stroke here. Now there's a couple of shortcuts that needs to be known. For example, the square brackets. If I press the buttons on my keyboard.
The open square bracket. You see that my brush is getting smaller which allows me to very, very quickly go back in there and draw smaller brush strokes or if I press the end square bracket I can make the brush bigger. Therefore, create a bigger brush and continue drawing like that. Another interesting keyboard shortcut is that all new numerals actually allow you to change the opacity of the brush itself. So 1 would be the minimum and 0 would be the maximum.
So 1 is 0% and maximum, 0 is 100%. I can start painting. You see that's actually 10% 1. If I press the 3 key, I'm moving over to 30% of that smoke, see? And as I continue painting, I can really, really create that effect of smoke coming out of my match, here. Now, there are other things that you need to know about the Bristle Brush. These Bristle Brushes are very, very complex objects.
If you select them, they look like nothing, like, just like normal bezier lines. Okay, but don't be fooled by that, because if you expand these strokes, this is how it will look. So if we go under Object > Expand Appearance. This is the actual drawing of these points, okay? And if I go into outline mode, it will be even more dramatic. Okay. What that means is that you have thousands of new bezier points and bezier lines inside of your drawing, making the art board very, very complex when you use the Bristle Brush.
And this complexity can come out when you print the document because these are thousands of points that need to be sent to the printer or saved into a PDF or when you place that document into an InDesign file. It will become very, very complex to preview. So, you can do all of the drawing you want inside of illustrator without having any effect on the way illustrator actually works, and let me go to preview mode here and undo the expand appearance. Okay, so that we go back to our bristle brushes here If you have very, very complex bristle brushes on your artwork, it is a good idea to actually rasterize them before you send them to the printer or to your designer, who will then put it into an InDesign document, for example.
So to make that easier, a new selection here has been added in the Select menu > Object > Bristle Brush Strokes. And if we select this, all the Bristle Brush strokes in my artwork will be selected. And at that point, I will be able to go to object and ask to rasterize this rasterisation. And if I click on here I can then choose the resolution that I want for the rasterisation.. In this case maybe I want a high resolution like 300 PPI so I can print it well.
And I want the background to be transparent because I want it to have the same look and feel that it has on my art board. So I will say okay to that. And Illustrator will now take these Bristle Brushes and rasterize them into an image. As you can see, the effect is exactly the same, but it'll be far less complex to actually send through a printer or to create a PDF with.
- Segmented art brushes
- Variable-width strokes
- The Bristle Brush
- The perspective grid
- Path > Join enhancements
- Multiple artboard enhancements
- Pixel-perfect drawing
- CS Review online commenting